Environmental Management System and Culture

We have established an Environmental Management System (EMS), a series of environmental standards based on industry best practices that set environmental performance requirements for each AES business worldwide.

The EMS framework requires continuous environmental performance monitoring, environmental risk assessments, and periodic integrated environmental, health and safety audits. The EMS framework helps us ensure our businesses achieve environmental compliance, address significant environmental impacts and strive for continuous performance improvement. Key environmental metrics include air emissions, environmental non-conformance events and EMS performance parameters — which are reported to senior management on a set schedule.

Certification and Standards

Many of our businesses formally certify their EMS performance with the ISO 14001 international standard. Approximately 60 percent of AES businesses with an EMS framework have formally certified, or are certifying, their programs. More than 71 percent of the AES workforce is located on business sites that operate, or may soon operate, under a certified ISO 14001 EMS.

Our integrated Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) audit program internally verifies compliance with the EMS framework. Each audit finding is accompanied by a corrective action plan and an agreed-upon completion date.

Refer to Governance and Risk Management for more information about our Environmental Risk Management and Metrics.

Environmental Culture

We strive to have all elements of EMS in place at operating businesses and construction sites. We also seek to ensure the structure and execution of this system is of the highest quality possible.

Operational and EHS leaders use an EMS scorecard to assess the quality and strength of the AES business site’s management system and business culture. The scorecard identifies 12 different functional elements of our EMS, ranging from management commitment to technical areas such as completion of risk assessments and internal audits. Each of the 12 functional areas identifies four to seven attributes of the management system that represent a world-class EHS culture and overall management system.

Each AES business performs an annual self-assessment process using this EMS scorecard as well as participates in an external EHS audit process on an annual or triennial basis.

We address any resulting management system compliance issues discovered during this assessment process by developing and implementing documented corrective action plans.

Environmental Risk Management

Key environmental assessment programs include:

  • Internal Integrated Environmental Health and Safety Audits
    • Conducted globally every three years at the operating business level and annually at the major construction project level.
    • More than 50 audits conducted annually, focused on compliance and EMS improvement issues.
  • EMS Risk Assessment and Action Plans
    • Each business location uses risk assessment to set action plans that address significant environmental risks.
    • Since 2008, AES operating businesses and construction projects have proactively created and implemented more than 1500 EMS action plans to reduce environmental risk and/or improve environmental management.

The EMS framework is consistent with the international ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard, and many of our businesses have adopted these standards even when not required to do so.

Environment Metrics

Key environmental metrics — including air pollutant emissions, environmental nonconformance events and EMS performance parameters — are reported on a set schedule for review by senior management. Material information on environmental performance is reported to AES executive leadership and to the AES Nominating, Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee of the AES Board of Directors prior to each regularly scheduled Board Meeting.